Big Do's peach and blackberry cobbler

From: Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less

My granddad Do used to keep me and my cousins entertained all summer long on his boat with fishing, crab races and stories about pirates, deep-sea treasure and the biggest fish he ever caught! He liked his food, but never cooked – on our summer adventures with him, we were always under strict orders to bring sandwiches! One day, I caught him sitting below deck slurping peaches in syrup from the tin, one of his favourite after-lunch treats, so this recipe is dedicated to him!

Nettle Soup

From: Kitchen Hero: Rediscovering The Irish Kitchen

This soup is a great favourite in the spring when the nettles are young. Nettles are full of minerals and vitamins which purify the blood. In the country, nettle tea was also drunk, made by pouring boiling water over chopped nettles, boiling for about 15 minutes, then straining and adding milk and sugar. This was often given to children who had measles. It is said to have been a favourite of St Columcille. Nettle soup is still served in some hotels in Ireland; this recipe is from Declan Ryan, who was chef-proprietor of the much-starred Arbutus Lodge, Cork - sadly no longer in existence. Use gloves and a scissors when cutting the nettles. Do not gather them from sprayed verges or after the end of May as they will be too tough.

Christmas Feast: Plum and Star Anise-Glazed Ham

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

Sweet, sticky and aromatic, this Christmas ham comes with serious sophistication. Like most good Christmas hams this recipe is all about the glaze. The combination of sweet orange, sticky plum jam and Asian star anise ticks all the boxes in terms of Christmas tastes.

Blue Cheese Beef Sliders

From: Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked

If you haven't heard of sliders before, they are an American invention and are basically mini burgers. They are perfect for party nibbles and this particular recipe has sweet caramelised onion and salty blue cheese served alongside.

Banoffee Cake

From: Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked

Banoffee pie has to be one of my desert island desserts and while I still love the pie version, this cake certainly gives it a run for its money with its moist banana sponge layered with a sweet caramel frosting.

‘Goes a Long Way’ Beef Skirt Goulash

From: Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less

Goulash was one of my mom’s regular dinners when I was growing up, and I loved it. The addition of dumplings is my own twist.

Harissa Mackerel with carrot, mint and spring onion salad

From: Four Live

A quick and nutritious light meal.

Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese Soufflés with Pear Salad And Walnuts

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

These make a very elegant cheese course and are quite easy to prepare. You can make these ahead of time and they will puff up again when you place them back in the oven.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese

From: Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less

At one of my recent cookery demonstrations I got a great tip to make an all-in-one white sauce, which simplifies the process here. There are two things that are key to this method: the milk must be cold when you start, and remember to keep whisking vigorously until the sauce thickens. If you want to take this simple recipe one step further, add some fried smoked streaky bacon bits. This is a great dish for a leftovers lunchbox the next day.




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